Premalignant Lesions

Leukoplakia—white keratotic plaque that cannot be rubbed off, most common precursor to cancer

Erythroplakia—red mucosal plaque, greater risk for malignant transformation

Dysplasia—describes varying degrees of abnormal epithelial change, as dyspla-sia increases there is a greater malignant potential

Verrucous hyperplasia—irreversible premalignant lesion, histologically indistinguishable from verrucous carcinoma, associated with HPV

The "field cancerization" theory suggests that these patients are at increase risk for second primary lesion.

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